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Best is British!

PTI | ByVijay Dutt, London
Mar 16, 2005 07:28 PM IST

Ironically, even the best in creative fields from India are not good enough for few of us, writes Vijay Dutt.

Spring, when London becomes truly alluring, has arrived, although we have been asked not to put away mufflers and gloves as yet. We Indians need no such warnings, most of us are still covered from head to foot, cap, overcoat, muffler and warm stockings et al. I think it is all in the genes, we do feel cold more than the original Londoner. Even those, the young ones who were born here and have grown up in London's dreary cold, wear more warm clothes than the English youth.

But in some rather not very nice ways too, I dare say, a few NRIs here still suffer from the old Raj hangover, of which Indians in America, I am happy to say, do not suffer from. Let me explain. An Indian engineer, architect, tutor or a doctor or an auditor, bar rare exceptions, is not considered good enough by those NRIs who believe that only descendants of the Burra Sahebs of the Raj days know the best in all fields. In Britain use British only, is what their psyche dictates. 
 
Namita Punjabi was the rare one that used Rajiv Sethi to visualise the décor of their Masala Zone restaurant in Soho, a few years ago. He conceptualised the theme and the décor here synthesising the concept of Namita Punjabi and her sister for their eatery, remarkably well. No wonder it draws diners from all over England and European tourists. But about the rest ask not, you know the answer. Let me just say that a recently refurbished bar in a deluxe hotel owned by an Indian-origin multi-millionaire gives one a feeling to get away quick. I noticed that all the old regulars have vanished.

The reality is that even the best in creative fields from India are not good enough for few of our Indians who still believe that the Sahebs know the best. This is not to detract from the merit and talent of the locals. They are very good as well. But, at the same time some Indians are talented too and can possibly give equally good if not better services. Thank god, Air-India, used a noted architect from India to redo their Maharaja lounge at Heathrow. But can we say the same thing about other Indian government refurbishment projects. I would rather not comment. Also I must mention that an expert on temple construction with good practice is a local.

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May be the best is in the west. Let India wait, until the west recognises its merits. Then I can predict with confidence, the Indian Gora sahibs will accord recognition to their cousins in the country they once belonged to.

Fortuitously, the lesser-blessed Indians here have no such hangover or prejudices, even if both the English and the sufferers of the Raj hangover consider them nobodies.

Pakistanis are in a very different league. Most believe in their own, and while doing so get the best from here too. One has to just visit a few luxury apartments in Mayfair to see how good their places look. And please do not compare with some of our very rich.

Men look for less brainy

The old saying, expect the unexpected, can now be justifiably applied to research projects that are being undertaken these days. We have had weighty, scientifically researched report on why men go to sleep after sex, a finding on how women can measure the affections of their men, what institutes infidelity for different set of couples and now we have an interesting conclusion on why men dislike brainy women.

I do not think this is a universal truth, but come to think of it nothing is. But some men are already worried, what with test-tube babies, cloning, a falling birth-rate, and women who put career before family. If gender skirmishes continue t the current rate, many men fear extinction, for women can now manage on their own. They do not at least in the West need a male escort to go top a pub or drink themselves silly. They do it on their own, and thank you men-folk.

So how are the men who believed in the old- fashioned instinct-driven sexual selection, falling in love across a crowded room reacting these days. A study by four British universities suggests men are getting wiser and are marrying women who are not brainy. A high IQ hampered, the study found, a woman's chance of getting married, with a 40 per cent drop in marital prospects for every 16-point rise.

The opposite was true for their male classmates, whose equivalent chance of being married rose by 35 per cent for a 16-point rise in IQ. Top-earning men were eight per cent more likely to be married than their low-earning peers.

Does this study then proves that men marry for less brains and women for more comfort which money can provide. If it were so, I would venture to say that women are brainier, in any case. While a man may prefer a doll, women are seeking out the best men. So don't call me MCP.

That reminds one of

All men are animals; some just make much better pets.

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